News & Events

Minister Breen welcomes appointment of Sharon McGuinness as the new CEO of the Health and Safety Authority

Minister Pat Breen TD, Minister of State with special responsibility for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection has congratulated Dr. Sharon McGuinness on her appointment as the Chief Executive of the Health and Safety Authority. Dr. McGuinness took up her new position on July 1st 2018 following the retirement of Martin O’Halloran.

Minister Breen said: “Dr. Sharon McGuinness has a proven track record in the Health and Safety sector with extensive experience in both Ireland and Europe. In addition to being Assistant Chief Executive of the Health and Safety Authority for several years she has also held the position of Chairperson of the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA). She brings considerable experience to her new role”.

“I wish Sharon all the best in her new role and have every confidence that the Health and Safety Authority will prosper under her leadership and she will take the organization into a new phase of development against the background of a challenging and changing economy and work environment in Ireland.”

Minister Breen also would like to thank Martin O’Halloran on behalf of the Government for his many years of dedicated public service with the Health and Safety Authority.

“Martins time as Chief Executive Officer of the Health and Safety Authority coincided with one of the Authority’s most successful periods in terms of reduced workplace fatalities and injuries, this was during some of the most turbulent years in this country’s economic history.”.


Prior to joining the Health and Safety Authority, Dr. McGuinness worked in government affairs and global chemical regulations for Hewlett-Packard and with the European Chemicals Bureau as a scientific officer in relation to classification and labelling. In addition, she has held posts in academia and the pharmaceutical sector. She graduated with a B.Sc. in Pharmacology in 1986 and a Ph.D. in Pharmacology in 1990 and has completed post-doctoral toxicology fellowships at the University of Arizona in Tucson and the American Cyanamid Company in New York.


The Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (DBEI) plays a key role in implementing the Government’s policies of stimulating the productive capacity of the economy and creating an environment which supports job creation and maintenance. The Department also has a remit to promote fair competition in the marketplace, protect consumers and safeguard workers.

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